4 Easy Ways for Desperate Homeless People to Make Money This Holiday Season
11:40 AM EST on December 10, 2015
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Merry Christmas, gentrifiers! This holiday season, Santa was extra nice and gave the well-to-do of such famed up-and-coming districts as Uptown 23rd, Classen Ten-Penn, Midtown and the Plaza District the gift of being able to eat at overpriced seafood restaurants and buy faux-artisan street-art without having to look at those dirty homeless miscreants standing in the middle of the street, selling their Curbside Chronicles or, God forbid, begging for loose change.
Yes, the good Christians on the OKC City Council officially voted to make being poor a crime punishable by law, banning the act of panhandling on medians in our Big League city. And while this is a great Christmas gift for those that have homes (and clothes and food and dignity), an act such as this, especially around this time of year, is going to create a sense of desperation for many, ranging from the need to provide for a family to personal addictions and demons that have gone beyond their control.
When I spent the afternoon panhandling for The Lost Ogle, I spent some time interviewing a few people who have to beg on the regular and one of them said something that really stuck with me; she said that, sometimes, panhandling has saved many homeless people from various acts of desperation that can often lead to resorting to crime, such as robbery and worse. The life that dollar or two out the car window saved might have just been your own.
With the chickens invariably coming home to roost, I thought let's take a look at some of the easy ways what many of the destitute, cold and hungry might have to resort to this year and, with any luck, possibly for years to come. Thanks, City Council!
Become a Prostitute!
Get ready to lube up the ol’ camcorder, Mr. Bates. It’s hard enough for a homeless man to get a decent job, but in today’s “war on women” society, it’s practically impossible for a homeless woman to attain even a basic level employment as well, causing many to take care of their families the only way left: prostitution. So while you’re enjoying gathering around the tree on Christmas Eve with your loved ones in the warm Mesta Park home, know that out there, right now, is a woman selling herself in order to buy some food and maybe a few trinkets at Dollar Tree so the kids will have something to open in the morning. Maybe you can even break away from the shrewish wife and bratty kids long enough to help her out with a "charitable donation."
Sell Drugs to Rich High School Kids!
One of the easiest ways to make money is to sell hard drugs. And with an especially high demand during the holidays due to all those cases of "seasonal affective disorder," self-medication is better than milk and cookies. And don't forget all of those Less Than Zero-esque soirees that are gonna need "party favors" once mom and new step-dad go out of town. As a street-level pharmacist, making paper will come easy as those spoiled teens gobble up product--have you thought about branching out to Edmond?--and the smiles on your own children’s faces knowing that daddy can afford that overpriced ONG heating this winter will be worth it, at least as long as he can avoid getting high on his own supply.
Rob a Convenience Store!
Having spent so many hours on the streets, there’s probably a nice little neighborhood convenience store that you like to frequent; the one that smells of incense, stocks those BBQ burritos and has no problem with selling loosie Carnivals at a reasonable price. When panhandling, it was easy enough to meet basic daily needs, bringing that day’s procured wages in for some food and maybe a well-earned tall-boy. But not that you can’t stand on the median, you try to panhandle in front of that same store and the owner calls the cops on you for loitering on private property. Broke, angry and out of options, returning to the store to take what is rightfully yours seems like the only option. And even though chances are you might only get away with a couple of bucks, it's still better than nothing, right?
Good Ol’ Fashioned Mugging!
It’s late in the evening and you’re walking you’re dog when--BAM--a blunt object cracks the back of your skull. When you’ve come to on the cold asphalt, drivers pass you by and yell "Get out of the street, asshole!", believing you to be a drunken vagrant. Speech slurred and vision blurred thanks to the well-deserved blow, by the time the cops come by to move you out of the street, even though your wallet is gone, when you reach for it, the po-po think you’re reaching for a gun and shoot you 13 times. Miraculously you live, but thanks to your HMO refusing to cover this, the bills start to pile up. Unable to work, you find yourself doing the one thing you said you never would: beg for change on the street corner where everyone ignores you and everyone forgets about you.
All because you wanted a beautiful neighborhood. All because you felt gross having to look at poor people on your way to the golf course. All because you have no idea what it’s like to suffer. Happy holidays.
Louis Fowler is mulling over the idea to run for City Council himself. Follow him on Twitter at @LouisFowler.
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